Democratic nominee for Tennessee Gov. faces uphill battle against Gov. Bill Lee

Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 6:42 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - On Friday morning, The Associated Press called the race for Jason Martin in the democratic primary for Governor race and named him the Democratic nominee to run against Tennessee Governor Bill Lee in the Fall.

The democratic primary race was competitive and close, ending within about half a percentage point between Jason Martin and JB Smiley.

“Smiley had a base in Memphis, Martin has a base in Nashville, Henderson, Middle Tennessee, And both did well in their regions. Smiley benefited and made it close with a huge vote in Memphis,” said Kent Syler, WSMV 4 Political Analyst and Professor of Political Science At MTSU.

On Friday at about Noon, in a tweet, Smiley conceded the race.

And political experts said the fall race against Governor Bill Lee would be challenging for the democratic nominee.

Even though the AP called the race for Jason Martin on Friday morning, Martin declared his victory on Thursday night.

As of Friday afternoon, about 1500 votes separated Martin and Smiley. Jason Martin had 101,221 votes, and JB Smiley HAD 99,753 votes. The total vote percentages were 39.38% for Martin, 38.81% for JB Smiley, and 21.81% for Carnita Atwater.

Political Analyst Syler said the numbers show Governor Lee is still a favorite for the General Election.

Lee ran unopposed in the Republican Primary and had almost half a million votes; 494,195.

The candidates in the democratic primary for governor had about 250,000 votes altogether.

“So that’s a 2 to 1 edge for republicans,” said Syler. “Martin has already committed to going to all 95 counties. If he can go into some of these rural communities and reestablish the democratic brand in those areas, you can’t keep losing 80 to 20 percent in rural counties and expect to be a factor on the state level,” he added.

Even though the results are in, the numbers aren’t completely official until they are certified.

“The counties actually have until august the 22 to certify the election, and the counties will certify that in waves. They’ll begin next week and start certifying,” said Mark Goins, Coordinator Of Elections For The State Of Tennessee.

And the work of verifying the results so far has already begun.

“The election officials are going back through verifying the numbers reported by local polling places,” said Goins. “The results come from a local polling location, and they are brought to the centralized counting areas where they are counted,” he added.

As for what will help the declared democratic nominee take on Governor Lee, WSMV 4′s Tosin Fakile asked Political Analyst Kent Syler If Roe V. Wade Will Bring Jason Martin more votes for the general election.

“I can almost guarantee that it will be something that benefits Jason Martin, but I can almost guarantee that it won’t be enough. But it will be something I think gets him more votes than he otherwise would have gotten,” Syler said.

WSMV 4 asked Syler what Tennesseans are looking for in their next governor, and he said they are looking for someone who will keep the excellent economy of the state going and the ship stable.

Copyright 2022 WSMV. All rights reserved.